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Oh D.E.A.R. Wenona

This week, Wenona celebrated Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.), with an hour-long Athenaeum Reading Commons where the whole School tucked into their favourite book.


Reading is always a priority across the Wenona community. Whether we are reading solo or together with our teachers, classmates, parents or friends, we all enjoy a good book. So, when our Library suggested celebrating books with a whole-school Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) session to celebrate our love of reading, everyone was thrilled. Particularly as the Library helped to devise age-appropriate reading lists and made audio books available online to the community.

On Wednesday, Wenona’s first Athenaeum Reading Commons took place, and it was fascinating to hear what people chose to read and why.


Sisters, Isabel (Year 7) and Charlotte (Year 4) both enjoyed the activity. Isabel said, “I am reading The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. I love this book. It is full of adventure and suspense and I am curious about what happens next. I like reading because it takes me into an imaginative and creative world.”

Charlotte said, “I am reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie book. I really like this book as it tells you a lot about the characters in the movies and you can learn a lot more about them. I like reading because it is like being in a new world and I can learn new things.”


Ella (Year 3) said, “I am reading The Naughtiest Unicorn and the School Disco. I like reading because you learn interesting things and this book is a funny story about unicorns.”


Sabella (Kindergarten) loves to read her favourite book, Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove, on her balcony. “I like reading this book because the alpacas are so colourful and funny, and I love alpacas.”

Year 10 Coordinator and English Teacher, Ms Rodgerson currently has two books on the go. "In the day, I am re-reading Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World, adding annotations to every page for my Year 12 unit. I do love it as an exploration of human psychology and the lies we tell ourselves. In the evening, I am reading Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, the final book in the Wolf Hall trilogy about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII. I enjoy it a lot, but usually fall asleep before I've finished a page and wake up with my Kindle on my face, so it's slow going."


Head of Ralston House and English Teacher, Ms Verge, is reading H is for Hawk by Jen Macdonald. “Five stars for this fascinating memoir about life, death, love and how to train a goshawk.”

Head of TAS, Ms McNally is reading The 5am Club Quotes by Robin S. Sharma. “I’m not enjoying the way it’s written, but it’s full of inspiring quotes from people throughout history. For example, “I would rather fight an army of sheep led by a lion that an army of lions led by a sheep.” This is attributed to Alexander the Great. Or, “Most people die at 30 and aren’t buried until 80.” by Benjamin Franklin. It’s certainly a bit weird and different, but it’s not getting me up at 5am or elevating my life yet!”


Next on Ms McNally’s reading list is The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, which she is really looking forward to.

English Teacher, Ms Lovell is thoroughly enjoying Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking. “It’s a novella and two short stories. The stories are very different, modern and beautifully written.”


Meanwhile, our Library Technician, Ms Blamey, is reading The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Monitmore. “Oona Lockhart is about to celebrate her 19th birthday and ring in the New Year. But at the stroke of midnight, she finds herself in her fifty-one-year-old body, thirty-two years into the future. Still a young woman on the inside, but ever changing on the outside. She learns that this happens to her every year and she is living her life out of order with no memory of the previous years. Who will she be next year? Wealthy philanthropist? Nineties Club Kid? World traveller? Wife to a man she's never met? I picked up this book because I thought it had a really interesting concept. However, the chapters which represented a year of her life felt really short with not enough time to form a connection with any of the characters. All the characters felt a bit stale, there was lack of progression and some of it felt totally pointless. I rated it 2/5 stars (1 star for the concept, 1 star for the pink cover).”


Learning Support Teacher, Ms Fleiser, has just finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt. “It’s my second time reading this. I think I would call this Southern Gothic; dark, grim, murder etc. Dr Scott would like it because it’s about Classics students and it’s littered with Latin and Greek. I enjoy Tartt’s detailed imagination and unexpected plot twists. A dark psychological thriller with beautiful prose and weird, offbeat characters.”

For Head of English, Mr McGoldrick, it’s Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies, and Head of Teaching and Learning Middle School, Ms Isbel, has just started to read Phosphorescence by Julia Baird. “It’s about the light within, which sustains us during darker times – very relevant! Julia is such an eloquent writer.”

Wenona’s first Athenaeum Learning Commons was a great success and a timely reminder for everyone to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because reading, as we all know, is fun!